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View Full Version : Could the Reds go very young on offense?



Kc61
10-02-2008, 01:37 AM
What if the Reds decided to spend only for pitching and backups in the off-season and to go very young with its position players.

Dickerson/Stubbs CF
Valaika SS
Votto LF
EE 3B
Bruce RF
Phillips 2B
Alonso 1B
Hanigan C
P

Bench -- Janish, Keppinger (or Hairston), new backup catcher, lefty pinch hitter. (Stubbs or Dickerson would be on bench depending on lefty/righty.)

Then, instead of putting money in Matt Holliday types, use the dough for Sabathia or Lowe or another good pitcher and maybe even spend on a polished middle reliever.

I can see some defensive problems, but it would be fun for the minor league forum fans. Alonso, Valaika, and Stubbs would be getting some early time in the bigs.

mth123
10-02-2008, 04:15 AM
This is the right direction IMO. I don't like Valaika at SS and we may see Freel buy time for Stubbs (or Heisey if Stubbs is dealt for help elsewhere) as the RH half of CF for a while. Also, maybe a stopgap to buy time for Alonso (Owings?? Rosales??), but if the team could deal a couple of the pitchers like Bailey and Thompson to get the SS to fit with this group, its exactly what I would do. I'd go all the way and keep Castillo as the back-up catcher and maybe replace Keppinger with Rosales.

CC and Lowe may be long shots (the Lowe idea is growing on me) but another veteran starter seems like a good idea.

kpresidente
10-02-2008, 07:35 AM
You don't have to go to that extreme. You can just play Gonzalez and Freel instead of Valaika and Stubbs. You have to pay those two anyway, so why rush the kids? It's still the same amount of $$ available for pitching regardless.

It'd all fix itself by 2010. You might see a roster like this:

1B - Votto
2B - Valaika/Richar
3B - Alonso/Frazier
SS - Phillips
CA - Hanigan
LF - Dorn/Encarnacion
CF - Dickerson/Stubbs
RF - Bruce

...notice the use of platoons. All of the talent in the organization is being maximized. If you draft a college SS in 2009, he could be ready by the time Phillips's contract gets outrageous. Mesoraco should be knocking on the door at catcher. Combine that with a rotation like this...

Sabbathia
Volquez
Harang
Cueto
Arroyo

...with Bailey/Thompson/Lotzkar waiting to replace Harang and Arroyo. There's no holes in that plan for 5-6 years, and it's well under budget. Spend the extra money on Dominican 16-year olds and gear up for another run when that team hits FA.

All that with no trades and one free agent. Why am I not the GM?

klw
10-02-2008, 11:34 AM
I don't know if you are maximizing the system's talent by platooning. You would probably do better by trading some of the platooned talent to upgrade. ex. If you platoon EE you are most likely killing his trade value.

kpresidente
10-02-2008, 01:22 PM
I don't know if you are maximizing the system's talent by platooning. You would probably do better by trading some of the platooned talent to upgrade. ex. If you platoon EE you are most likely killing his trade value.

Yeah, you're right. So trade EE to the highest bidder and plug Keppinger into your LF platoon. Better to get his .403 OBP in there in the #2 hole, anyway.

puca
10-02-2008, 02:21 PM
Yeah, you're right. So trade EE to the highest bidder and plug Keppinger into your LF platoon. Better to get his .403 OBP in there in the #2 hole, anyway.

I'd love for the Reds to get .403 OBP in the #2 hole, but why are you seemingly associating that number with Jeff Keppinger? EE has a higher career OBP than Kepp.

kpresidente
10-02-2008, 02:53 PM
I'd love for the Reds to get .403 OBP in the #2 hole, but why are you seemingly associating that number with Jeff Keppinger? EE has a higher career OBP than Kepp.

Kepp's career OBP vs. LHP is around .403.

.515 SLG as well. We could probably bat him in the 3 spot and get good production.

mace
10-02-2008, 03:07 PM
I'm in the platoon boat. These days, it just seems so doable to find guys with .375-.400 OBPs against their opposite number. As it's been said, those fellas would typically be a lot cheaper than everyday players, freeing up the bucks for a stud or two. Plus, they'd give you a nice bench, all warmed up.

puca
10-02-2008, 03:08 PM
Kepp's career OBP vs. LHP is around .403.

.515 SLG as well. We could probably bat him in the 3 spot and get good production.

Okay, gotcha. Didn't catch the platoon part of your statement.

Kepp's career against lefthanders consists only of 300 PA, so the obligatory sample size warning should be applied.

Spring~Fields
10-02-2008, 04:29 PM
What if the Reds decided to spend only for pitching and backups in the off-season and to go very young with its position players.

Dickerson/Stubbs CF
Valaika SS
Votto LF
EE 3B
Bruce RF
Phillips 2B
Alonso 1B
Hanigan C
P

Bench -- Janish, Keppinger (or Hairston), new backup catcher, lefty pinch hitter. (Stubbs or Dickerson would be on bench depending on lefty/righty.)

Then, instead of putting money in Matt Holliday types, use the dough for Sabathia or Lowe or another good pitcher and maybe even spend on a polished middle reliever.

I can see some defensive problems, but it would be fun for the minor league forum fans. Alonso, Valaika, and Stubbs would be getting some early time in the bigs.

:thumbup:

I like that idea of going all young vs the risk of trading or FA in 2009.

Though if you went all young I think that Baker would quit and give up. :)

kpresidente
10-02-2008, 04:30 PM
Okay, gotcha. Didn't catch the platoon part of your statement.

Kepp's career against lefthanders consists only of 300 PA, so the obligatory sample size warning should be applied.

That's fair, but I think this season is the worst play you're going to get from him, and finished at .412.

mth123
10-02-2008, 10:16 PM
You don't have to go to that extreme. You can just play Gonzalez and Freel instead of Valaika and Stubbs. You have to pay those two anyway, so why rush the kids? It's still the same amount of $$ available for pitching regardless.

It'd all fix itself by 2010. You might see a roster like this:

1B - Votto
2B - Valaika/Richar
3B - Alonso/Frazier
SS - Phillips
CA - Hanigan
LF - Dorn/Encarnacion
CF - Dickerson/Stubbs
RF - Bruce

...notice the use of platoons. All of the talent in the organization is being maximized. If you draft a college SS in 2009, he could be ready by the time Phillips's contract gets outrageous. Mesoraco should be knocking on the door at catcher. Combine that with a rotation like this...

Sabbathia
Volquez
Harang
Cueto
Arroyo

...with Bailey/Thompson/Lotzkar waiting to replace Harang and Arroyo. There's no holes in that plan for 5-6 years, and it's well under budget. Spend the extra money on Dominican 16-year olds and gear up for another run when that team hits FA.

All that with no trades and one free agent. Why am I not the GM?

I don't like any plan that assumes Gonzalez, after a year and a half off and a major set of recurring fractures to his knee, can be an adequate SS. The guy was slowing down before he got two years older with his legs compromised. If Gonzalez can play at all I'd consider it a bonus of sorts. I prefer getting a real long term SS. Even if Gonzalez is all the way back, he misses a lot of time and is gone after 2009 and the Reds have no adequate back-up or successor. The Reds still need a young SS of the future to work in and take over as the season goes on. If ever a team had a glaring need at a spot, its the Reds at SS.

kpresidente
10-04-2008, 08:47 PM
I don't like any plan that assumes Gonzalez, after a year and a half off and a major set of recurring fractures to his knee, can be an adequate SS. The guy was slowing down before he got two years older with his legs compromised. If Gonzalez can play at all I'd consider it a bonus of sorts. I prefer getting a real long term SS. Even if Gonzalez is all the way back, he misses a lot of time and is gone after 2009 and the Reds have no adequate back-up or successor. The Reds still need a young SS of the future to work in and take over as the season goes on. If ever a team had a glaring need at a spot, its the Reds at SS.

If so, the numbers don't bear that out, and I don't see how anyone can see SS as a bigger need than LF. Right now the only thing we've got there is Freel and Hopper.

mth123
10-04-2008, 10:54 PM
If so, the numbers don't bear that out, and I don't see how anyone can see SS as a bigger need than LF. Right now the only thing we've got there is Freel and Hopper.

But long term the Reds have Votto or Alonso, Dorn, Frazier, Henry, Stubbs, etc. for the outfield.

At SS, the Reds have a guy who hasn't played in 2 years whose range was declining before his leg injury and is gone after 2009 anyway, a guy who has proven he can't play SS defensively while being trumpeted as an offensive plus who happened to put up a .656 OPS in 2008, a young kid who may have the defense but will struggle to OPS .600 in the majors, and a bunch of minor league SS "prospects" who all project as guys who need to be moved off of the position.

If Gonzalez comes back, the Reds may have a passable (not good) situation for one year and nothing in the organization beyond that with the possible exception of Zach Cozart who has to pass through a lot of levels without stalling to even have a chance at a utility role.

Frankly, I can't see how anyone can look at what the Reds have on the way in the OF and conclude the Reds should expend a lot of resources there and then look at SS and say there isn't a need. The need is much more glaring at SS even if you believe Gonzalez will man the position capably in 2009 while Freel and Hopper demonstrate their flaws regularly in the OF. The team has long term alternatives for the OF. There are zero at SS.

bubbachunk
10-05-2008, 12:16 PM
SS>LF

I dont see the position getting shored up until we go outside the organization or wait a few years

kpresidente
10-05-2008, 02:09 PM
Yeah, but I see Phillips as a legitimate long-term answer at SS, an idea which has moved beyond RedZone speculation to the realm of possibility given that WJ mentioned it as an option they've seriously considered. That makes 2B the real position to question our long-term options. But our list of prospects there is just as good as the OFers you put up.

The general theme of my OP was to point out that everything can be solved long-term from within the organization. The only holes are 2009, where LF is a glaring chasm and SS/#5 starter are more like "iffy at best."

mth123
10-05-2008, 04:06 PM
Yeah, but I see Phillips as a legitimate long-term answer at SS, an idea which has moved beyond RedZone speculation to the realm of possibility given that WJ mentioned it as an option they've seriously considered. That makes 2B the real position to question our long-term options. But our list of prospects there is just as good as the OFers you put up.

The general theme of my OP was to point out that everything can be solved long-term from within the organization. The only holes are 2009, where LF is a glaring chasm and SS/#5 starter are more like "iffy at best."

Who are those 2B options? Keppinger? No thanks. Same lousey bat. Same lousey range. I personally think he should have to fight to stay on the major league team. I'd be looking to upgrade with a better player even for a bench role. Valaika? Maybe, but I'm not convinced. His bat projects as pedestian at the MLB level (.750 to .775 OPS). That is a decent bat at 2B, but only if the guy is a plus defender, IMO. That offensive projection also is likely not fulfilled until 2012 or so when he reaches his prime years and will be something less until then. Call me skeptical. Turner? He may be the sleeper of the group. I'd like to know more about his glove. Unless Frazier or Soto can play 2B and provide superior offense, I'd prefer that they keep Phillips glove at 2B and look for a guy that we're sure can play SS.

I'd be ok with a Phillips to SS plan if its coupled with signing Orlando Hudson. That would maintain the 2B defense while Phillips tries his hand at SS. If Phillips can't handle SS (does he have the arm for it?) it would leave the Reds with a couple of big contracts with only one spot to play them, but it may be worth the risk. I'd imagine that Phillips could suffer a serious defensive drop with a move to SS and still be better than anyone the Reds have played there since Larkin was still effective. Its still a pretty big risk for a small market team.

Plan A should be trying to acquire a SS who fills the long term need with plus defense and decent offense. Plan B should be getting an established player that can fill the role for 3 years or so. This may not be a gold glover, but a solid guy who hits and makes the plays defensively. Plan C should involve moving Phillips while adding a good 2B to go with him. Plan D should involve Keppinger, Valaika or some one at 2B with Phillips at SS. The Plan of last resort should be the Gonzalez/Keppinger/Janish disaster in waiting.

I really disagree with your assessment that the Reds have everything internally to fill the needs. IMO the Reds have exactly one player above low A who looks like a capable middle infielder and that player is Brandon Phillips. If he's moved to SS, the Reds need to go outside the organization for a 2B. Why risk moving Phillips and it failing if you have to go get some one anyway? Just go get a guy that we know can play SS. Use whatever combination of Bailey, Thompson, Maloney, Roenicke, Valaika, Stubbs, Francisco and even Frazier if necessary to get that spot nailed down.

Spring~Fields
10-05-2008, 05:15 PM
I'd be ok with a Phillips to SS plan if its coupled with signing Orlando Hudson. That would maintain the 2B defense while Phillips tries his hand at SS. If Phillips can't handle SS (does he have the arm for it?) it would leave the Reds with a couple of big contracts with only one spot to play them, but it may be worth the risk. I'd imagine that Phillips could suffer a serious defensive drop with a move to SS and still be better than anyone the Reds have played there since Larkin was still effective. Its still a pretty big risk for a small market team.



I like that idea to help the defense and offense. But would Hudson even sign with the Reds or would they even try to sign him? To me Hudson at second and Phillips at short is the simple answer, though I don't know how much a Hudson would cost with the other teams out there looking for upgrades too.

kpresidente
10-05-2008, 05:31 PM
Plan A and B tosses in the towel for '09, because you're not going to get a SS, LF, and SP so long as we're strapped with Gonzo and Freel's contract.

Plan C is something you do if you find that only 2B are available. Obviously, I'd prefer plan A.

Plan D rolls the dice on SS for '09, which is better than throwing in the towel like plan A and B. Come 2010, if Valaika doesn't establish himself as a legit middle-infielder, then SS can be your priority. You'll have some more money freed up at that point.

Now, plan A and B aren't throwing in the towel if your SS can be a middle-of-the order bat, because that's what we really need. It's just a lot easier to find that in a LF. If you can get that kind of offense from a SS, then by all means. I just don't think we've got the chips.